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Can I Open Carry a Gun in Colorado?


Millions of people throughout the U.S. value their Second Amendment right to own firearms. Some states have interpreted this right to include keeping firearms on one’s person in public. This is known as the open carry of firearms, and Colorado is one of the states that recognize it.

While open carry is legal in Colorado, it doesn’t come without limitations. Under the following circumstances, it is illegal to open carry a gun in public:

  • You are younger than 18 and your firearm is a handgun
  • You are subject to a protective order in Colorado that forbids you from possessing a gun
  • You are legally prohibited from owning a gun for any other reason
  • Your firearm is an automatic weapon, short-barreled shotgun, or short rifle
  • You are in your car and your weapon is loaded and not a pistol or revolver
  • You are on federal property
  • You are on school or university grounds
  • You are in a public transportation facility and your gun is loaded

Denver Limitations on the Open Carry of Firearms

In addition to these limitations, Denver has its own limitations on open carry. In this city, open carry in public is outlawed and carrying a firearm in one’s car without a license is also illegal. This means that residents outside of Denver who are accustomed to their community’s comparatively lax restrictions on open carry can catch weapons charges in Denver if they aren’t careful.

Penalties for Gun Possession Violations in Colorado

If you are outside of Denver and are charged with a gun possession crime, you can face anywhere between three months in jail to three years in prison, depending upon the circumstances of your situation.

Carrying a prohibited weapon is a Class 2 Misdemeanor in Colorado, punishable by 3-12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If you are convicted of this crime a second time (or another gun crime) within five years of your first conviction, the charge is upgraded to a Class 5 Felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

If a juvenile younger than 18 is convicted of possessing a handgun, it is treated as a misdemeanor unless it is a subsequent offense.

Were You Charged with a Gun Crime in Colorado?

The Orr Law Firm can represent clients who are charged with gun crimes and other weapons offenses in Colorado. Learn more about how we can help by reaching out to us online today!